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  1. Default First Saltwater Tank, Need some help


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey guys, just got a 55G tank off someone so I decided to set it up for saltwater. There were a bunch of good porous rocks in the tank so I rinsed them off good and put them in there along with some coral skeletons. I used sand as the substate and filled it with saltwater (took 45 gallons). I have a power filter rated for 70 gallons (300 gph) and I have a power head that pumps 170 gph. I have all the pumps running but haven't put any animals in it yet. So, I have a ton of questions, but here are the most pressing ones:

    1. This rock that i put in there, will it become live rock? I read the articles on cycling and curing, but I'm still confused, do i need to put something in the tank to start the growth process on the rock?

    2. Is my water circulation okay? I was trying to overkill it in order to be safe. I'm used to freshwater tanks and I'm guessing saltwater needs more oxygen? Another silly question is one my power head, i can have it circulate outside air our just water. It's alot quieter if i have it just circulated water, but I'm guessing i need to have it circulate air to do any good, right?

    3. How long should I let the tank circulate with just the now dead rocks? I've heard everyone from a few days to 8 weeks. Should i wait for something to start growing on the rock? Also what's the first think i need to throw in? I've heard crabs, damsels, and some other stuff, but i'm not sure what to go with.

    Thanks a bunch in advance!

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by calebtrueblue View Post
    :

    1. This rock that i put in there, will it become live rock? I read the articles on cycling and curing, but I'm still confused, do i need to put something in the tank to start the growth process on the rock?
    Yes, you need to cycle your tank. Right now you just have a tank filled with dead rock. In order to cycle your tank, you will need some ammonia to grow the bacteria. As you killed off all the bacteria and other life forms that were on the rock, that might have already provided you with some ammonia, test your water to see. You can either add some live rock and let the tank cycle, or add some pure liquid ammonia. Think of the rock in a marine aquairum just you think about the biological filter media in a freshwater filter, they do the same things and the nitrogen cycle will basically work the same way (but with slightly different bacterias). The below two links have some helpful into for that

    http://www.reefaquarium.com/2012/cyc...rine-aquarium/
    http://www.reefaquarium.com/2013/cur...ine-aquariums/


    Quote Originally Posted by calebtrueblue View Post
    :
    2. Is my water circulation okay? I was trying to overkill it in order to be safe. I'm used to freshwater tanks and I'm guessing saltwater needs more oxygen? Another silly question is one my power head, i can have it circulate outside air our just water. It's alot quieter if i have it just circulated water, but I'm guessing i need to have it circulate air to do any good, right?
    While higher levels of O2 are benifical to marine aquariums, one of the biggest reasons to have good flow in your tank is to have good water movement around your live rock as that is your biological filter media. You might want to increase your the flow in your tank as right now, you do have pretty low flow. I would suggest adding two more powerheads to your set-up. The blow link can provide a little more detail for you

    http://www.reefaquarium.com/2012/the...nd-movement-2/

    Quote Originally Posted by calebtrueblue View Post
    :
    3. How long should I let the tank circulate with just the now dead rocks? I've heard everyone from a few days to 8 weeks. Should i wait for something to start growing on the rock? Also what's the first think i need to throw in? I've heard crabs, damsels, and some other stuff, but i'm not sure what to go with.
    Letting your water circulate with dead rock in there will not cycle your tank, no matter how long you let it run. I would refer you back to your first question about cycling a tank. Once your have you tank cycled, I can help you with your questions about stocking the tank.

    What type of marine aquarium are you planning for this set-up ?
    Last edited by Cliff; 04-30-2013 at 11:26 AM.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you for your response, very helpful. My ammonia level on day two is 1.0, is this high enough to start the cycle? Also, how many hours a day for the lights and what water temp should I shoot for to help the cycle.

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    1.0 ppm certainly is high enough to start the cycle. Just make sure you are testing daily.

    I would leave your lights off while cycling. Right now, the only thing that will get you is more algae.

    maintain your salinity between 1.025 and 1.027 and your temperature between 78F and 82F.

    Follow the instructions on the cycling link I posted above and you be fine
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Finally got a better test kit, nitrites and nitrates are both 0, so I'm guessing the cycle hasn't really begun. I forgot to get a gravity meter so i have no idea how much salt is in the water, so maybe thats why out of whack.

    Also bought another powerhead today, rated at 230, so my movement is up to 700 gph. The powerhead had a circulator conversion that kicked it up to 900, but i changed it back cause it was really loud and was blowing stuff all over the place and creating air cyclones on the surface. I'm getting good water ripples across the surface but nothing too crazy.

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    How much rock do you have in your tank and how big is your tank ?

    You are going to need a good quality refactormeter if you want a marine aquarium. A proper salinity level (1.025 to 1.026) is one of the most basic and very very important water parameters that you will need to keep a very close eye on.
    Last edited by Cliff; 05-02-2013 at 06:49 PM.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    uploadfromtaptalk1367549226997.jpg

    Not really sure about the rock, maybe 25 pounds. Here's a picture. I bought a live rock today, it's in the middle. Also threw a bottle of Tigger pods in at the recommendation of a guy at my lfs. I dont really like how the rock is set up, but there are quite a few hiding spots in the back

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Your pods are likely not doing to well as there is ammonia in the water and there is not a lot for them to eat right now. I would suggest finding another LFS to go to

    You tank looks to be a 55 gallon ?

    You are going to need some more rock to have a nice and stable set-up. I would suggest (after getting the refactormeter and powerheads) adding about 20 to 30 lbs of some live rock to the set-up and let if fully cure / cycle before adding and fish or inverts. Just don't clean off the rock before adding it to the tank. Keep the lights off and maybe even cover it with a towel or blanket and let the tank cycle in complete darkness.

    I would also suggest adding a skimmer. For a tank around 55 gallons, I would suggest the AquaC Ramora HOB skimmer. Thet very affordable and work great. I've really been happy with mine
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    My understanding was that pods were thrown in there to aid the live rock and help the cycle. The fish store is the oldest most respected one in Indianapolis. Many employees have degrees in marine biology. I'm sure there are different ways people do things.

    Anyways, I've seen some different methods of situating rocks in an aquarium, with stands or adhesive. Is there a best method, or just carefully stack?

    It is a 55 Gallon, I did pick up the refactormeter and the salinity is a tad high, did a partial water change and I'll check itagain in the morning. On that protein skimmer, can i run that with a maxijet 900? If so, I'll use that for the skimmer and get some better pumps for water circulation.

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The maxjet 900 will work on that skimmer. As the skimmer is meant to be used with a maxijet 1200, it just won't skim as well as it can as this is a spray injection skimmer. The higher the ghp flowing through it, the better the skimmer will work. I am currently using the nano version of the AquaC on a moderately stocked 40 gallon tank and it works great due to the higher flow rate going through the skimmer

    Quote Originally Posted by calebtrueblue View Post
    My understanding was that pods were thrown in there to aid the live rock and help the cycle. The fish store is the oldest most respected one in Indianapolis. Many employees have degrees in marine biology. I'm sure there are different ways people do things.
    The problem is that the pods are now in toxic levels of ammonia. Even with one small pc of live rock, that won't instantly cycle a tank. As the rock was out of water for a while, it will likely add trace amounts of ammonia (at the least) and take a while before it starts removing ammonia and seeding the rest of the dead rocks. Pods don't cycle tanks so I am at a loss as to why they would suggest such a thing. To each there own I guess, but that suggestion just doesn't make any sense to me.

    Please don't take any offense to my post here. My only intent is to help you have a nice and healthy tank and keep you here as a member. I just don't know of any nicer way to word the above.
    Last edited by Cliff; 05-03-2013 at 01:57 PM.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

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